ASTM D854-00e1

    Standard Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer


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    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover the determination of the specific gravity of soil solids that pass the 4.75-mm (No. 4) sieve, by means of a water pycnometer. When the soil contains particles larger than the 4.75-mm sieve, Test Method C127 shall be used for the soil solids retained on the 4.75-mm sieve and these test methods shall be used for the soil solids passing the 4.75-mm sieve.

    1.1.1 Soil solids for these test methods do not include solids which can be altered by these methods, contaminated with a substance that prohibits the use of these methods, or are highly organic soil solids, such as fibrous matter which floats in water.

    Note 1--The use of Test Method D5550 may be used to determine the specific gravity of soil solids having solids which readily dissolve in water or float in water, or where it is impracticable to use water.

    1.2 Two methods for performing the specific gravity are provided. The method to be used shall be specified by the requesting authority, except when testing the types of soils listed in1.2.1

    1.2.1 Method A--Procedure for Moist Specimens, described in . This procedure is the preferred method. For organic soils; highly plastic, fine grained soils; tropical soils; and soils containing halloysite, Method A shall be used.

    1.2.2 Method B--Procedure for Oven-Dry Specimens, described in 9.3.

    1.3 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.3.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in this standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user's objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of these test methods to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering design.

    1.4 UnitsThe values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in these test methods.

    1.5This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C127 Test Method for Density, Relative Density (Specific Gravity), and Absorption of Coarse Aggregate

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D2216 Test Methods for Laboratory Determination of Water (Moisture) Content of Soil and Rock by Mass

    D2487 Practice for Classification of Soils for Engineering Purposes (Unified Soil Classification System)

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4753 Guide for Evaluating, Selecting, and Specifying Balances and Standard Masses for Use in Soil, Rock, and Construction Materials Testing

    D5550 Test Method for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Gas Pycnometer

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data

    E11 Specification for Woven Wire Test Sieve Cloth and Test Sieves

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 93.020 (Earth works. Excavations. Foundation construction. Underground works)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 11111501(Soil)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D0854-00E01

    Citation Format

    ASTM D854-00e1, Standard Test Methods for Specific Gravity of Soil Solids by Water Pycnometer, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2000, www.astm.org

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